NFLCC is and is not:
Fishing Lure Collector's Club is not the boy scouts. Never has been.
Never will be. It's people. All kinds of people. Good
people. Great people. Bad people. Nice people and not so nice
people. Some of them are your neighbors and some of them you don't want
for neighbors, but they are all the "public". This is not church and
it's not your father's Rotary Club. So when a "member" does something you
don't like or agree with, don't brand the whole club "crooks". Realize you
are dealing with "the public" and behave accordingly.
of the NFLCC club are not screened for membership. Anyone who can walk,
crawl, ride up to a show, or mail a letter (that would be me) can join.
Pay your $25 dues and you get the secret decoder ring and a badge saying you
belong. From there on buddy... you are on your on. An NFLCC
sanctioned show, like the National, will not protect you from evil doers or
their dirty deeds. The NFLCC hasn't taken a strong stand on fakes and
repaints and that in itself is a reason to join and work within the system to
rectify the problem. If you don't like the problem of repaints and fakes,
join and do something about it.
Some of the
nicest people I have ever met are members of the NFLCC. Some of the most
well meaning individuals you will ever meet will become your friends over the
years. But, thieves are lurking among the 99% who are up-standing,
wonderful, and truthful members of the club. (Like I said, it
ain't the Boy Scouts and Superman isn't going to come floating down to rescue
you if you make an enemy or encounter one of the 'jokers'.)
There is no
oath of honesty, respect for motherhood, or promise to be faithful to you as a
member when you join. Have you ever watched a bunch of sharks circle
dead bait? Well, my friend, if you have money to spend or rare lures for
sale you are the bait.
The club was
founded by men who were for the most part wood lure collectors. They were
more interested in accumulating 'examples' of old lures and were more than happy
to trade back and forth to accumulate a collection. Lures then were cheap
compared with today's values. Of course all that is changing because no
one can afford or find wood lures any more, so the complexion of the club will
change. But, it will take time. The old timers don't
mean to be snotty with the youngsters, but they have serious things on their
mind at a show...like how to get that new-in-the-box Woods Expert they saw under
so-and-so's table before old-what's-his-face buys it. We're talking
fierce competition here. It's not 'kick ball' in the school yard.
It's ice hockey. These people can get ugly if you get in their way of
acquiring a lure or box.
remember these guys will espouse about all kinds of lofty ethics, motherhood,
and talk about how they 'only collect' and 'never deal', but throw a
valuable Heddon on the table and all bets are off. If you've heard of the
boarding house reach...don't get your hand in the way of their fork.
There is no
sponsorship system to assure that someone stands up for new members and then
takes responsibility for their actions. (There should be a new member
sponsorship program, but there isn't.) If you needed three co-sponsors to
join, it would cut down on some of the "characters" who join, steal, cheat
others, and then leave. Fortunately these individuals are few and far
The club is
mostly run by the "old guys in the club" because they have time to do it and no
one else wants to do it because it's a thankless, lousy job. Some of them
are on a power trip, so address them accordingly. Beware of political
types who can ruin your day, but on the other hand, befriend the guys and gals
who work their tails off to make the hobby run and put on shows. They are
the tireless minority who do all the slave work and you want to get to know them
President of the club doesn't give a toot what you think on a given day because
he's too busy listening to idiots like me tell him repaints are going to ruin
the world. It's a dirty rotten job for a volunteer and there is no
way they could ever pay him or her enough. The secretary and treasurer
have similar faults and problems as well as a totally thankless job. Be
glad they are there, shut up, sit down, and let them do their thankless job.
If you want
to join and learn, you can make friends who will teach you. Some of the
older members have true photographic memories. They know everything.
Getting them to tell you is the real trick. Start by making friends, not
causing trouble. Listen. Don't talk. Don't buy until you know
enough and then ask again for an opinion. Be courteous to a fault.
Never lie because sooner or later you are going to forget what you said to whom
and it's going to come back and bite you in the wallet area.
If you want
to buy lures and remain a loner, spending your money on unknown pieces for
outlandish prices you can do that. If you need a friend to help you
figure out what is going on, you can find one in the club, but just like in
grade school, there are good guys and bad guys on the play ground. You
just have to figure out who they are. Hopefully you learned how to do that
in grade school at recess. If not, you are going to have problems dealing
with some of these adults.
If a child
wants to join the club and start collecting, there is no better or safer place
on Earth other than his or her mother's kitchen. I've seen some hardened
old coots just melt and give perfectly good lures to a little dark eyed beauty
who said she was collecting "mice". By the end of the show, the kid
had a full collection and a hundred new friends. It happens at every
show. Adults, especially social idiots, are going to have a real hard time
getting anywhere at a show unless they know how to get along with people.
On the other
side of the spectrum, I've seen more than my share of screw jobs done on
unsuspecting "members" who thought they were dealing with an honest person.
(Sometimes what isn't said about a lure is worse than what is said. A
dealer doesn't want to get stuck with a $500 lure which has a problem.
Unless you ask questions, he may not tell you everything....) It is going to
happen, and nothing is going to stop it. It's part of the culture from
which much of the material is "picked" in the field. The people who "pick"
lures at garage sales are not necessarily Scout Masters. Let's just call a
spade a spade and face the fact that some of the more unsavory characters in the
club are out-right crooks and let it go at that. Why should the whole club
be branded a bunch of crooks for the actions of a very small minority?
Identify them, smile, keep your mouth shut, your money in your pocket, and
move on is my policy.
amount of money some lures and boxes are trading hands for, (thousands), there
are people out there who will kill you for that amount. I'm not
kidding now. When the price of a lure gets to the level of what a teacher
or construction worker makes a year, much less a month, you've got a real
incentive and motivation for a crooked thinker (evil doer!) to take advantage.
This is where knowledge comes in handy and where you need to chose your friends
carefully. The people who have the knowledge are in the NFLCC.
They are the dolphins in the sea of sharks and you have to figure out how to
swim with the dolphins and not be eaten by the sharks. Do you get my
or any type of tackle on places like eBay is dangerous enough and there is very
little you can do if you don't have experience in handling a lot of lures or
whatever to know what is real and what is a fake. The high prices are
bringing in the fakers, reproductionists, and other charlatans. Where are
you going to learn about what is real, what is not a fake, and find a friend to
help you figure out what you should or should not bid on when on eBay?
The NFLCC, that's where.
I hope I
have not stepped on any toes here. (Actually I really don't care.)
I'm just trying to get a point across to people who think if they join the NFLCC
all the members are going to take them under their wings and coddle them.
Hellooooo! It's the real world out there and you better wake up and pay
attention. Join the club to learn and if you make a few friends you can
trust along the way... well, all the better. But, don't expect anyone to
give you a break or hand you anything for free. We are talking about
expensive antiques here and you better know what you are doing if you want to
crawl off the porch and run with the big dogs in the field.
If you make
a mistake, just keep your mouth closed, learn from your experience, and figure
it was part of your tuition at the school of antique tackle collecting.
We've all made the mistakes. Some of us have made more than others.
Some of us never learn.